By Balarabe Oshiafi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has questioned the promise by the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, to remove fuel subsidy if elected, urging the organised labour’s umbrella body, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to “come out clean on its stand”.
The Director, Media and Public Affairs and official spokesperson of APC presidential campaign organisation, Festus Keyamo, stated this in a press release Saturday morning.
“We note that the leadership of the organized labour under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday, September 13, 2022, at a national retreat of the Labour Party in Abuja, promised to mobilise its members across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria to ensure victory for Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, in next year’s presidential election.
“We also note that in several interviews he granted in the last few months and weeks, Mr. Peter Obi has vowed to totally remove subsidy on petrol if elected President.
“We also note NLC’s long-standing opposition to total removal of fuel subsidy. Other left-leaning supporters of the Labour Party were also present at the event to cheer Mr. Peter Obi”, the statement said.
Keyamo, who is the serving Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, also asked the NLC:
“Before adopting Mr. Peter Obi as its candidate, did the leadership of the NLC have a discussion with him on the issue of removal of fuel subsidy?
“If they did have that discussion, did Mr. Peter Obi agree to back down on the issue of subsidy removal? Was that a basis for supporting him? If he did not back down on the issue, did organised Labour agree with him?
“If no such discussion held, does it mean the leadership of the NLC now fully supports the removal of fuel subsidy?
“Or will that not be reckless of the NLC to adopt a candidate without thoroughly interrogating the candidate on his policies as they affect the Nigerian workers or the masses? The NLC must make a public statement and come clean on this.
“If the excuse is that Mr. Peter Obi has said that the money saved will be used in other critical areas of the economy, how is that different from what the Buhari’s Government is also saying?
“These questions have become necessary because Nigerians deserve to know whether organised Labour’s adopted party, which is the Labour Party, supports and promotes a policy that the leadership of Labour opposes in another breath when it is adopted by the government of the day. They cannot be blowing hot and cold.”
APC further advised journalists to always carry out balanced reportage as 2023 general elections draw closer.
“As our Council stands for issue-based campaigns, we call on all members of the 4th Estate of the Realm not to sweep this point under the carpet and to thoroughly interrogate the NLC and the Labour Party on the one hand; and the seemingly right-leaning supporters of the Labour Party and Mr. Peter Obi on the other, on this issue so that they will come clean before Nigerians”, Keyamo added.